Spring is just around the corner and like me, you’re all probably very excited and eager to get started with the growing year. One thing I will say is try not to give into the temptation of sowing seeds far too early. This Winter has been very mild but there is still a chance of frosts appearing over the next couple of months, the last actual frost date in the UK is usually around May so just be careful. There is nothing worse then sowing seeds too early, growing healthy seedlings,planting them outside just for a frost to wipe them out. This would ultimately put a big set back into your growing year due to the need to start over again. So simply research the seeds that you will be growing this year, keep checking on the weather and hold on just a little bit longer.
There are however, plenty of other jobs to keep you busy in February:
Seeds to sow inside:
- Early Brassicas
- Sweet Peppers
- Peas (in guttering)
- Sweet Peas
Seeds to sow under cloches:
- Spring Onions
- Broad Beans
Things to plant outdoors (as long as the ground isn’t frozen or waterlogged):
- Raspberry Canes
- Fruit Trees
- Plan your allotment or garden and start sorting through your seeds. Keep an eye out for bargains in the garden centres!
- Spread well rotted manure onto your vegetable beds and around fruit bushes. This will release nutrients back into the soil and improve structure.
- Net fruit crops ready for Summer crops.
- Prune fruit trees and soft fruit bushes.
- Prune perennial flowers and roses.
- Prune Autumn fruiting raspberries by cutting the canes that bore fruit last year to ground level.
- Divide herbaceous perennials and rhubarb crowns to avoid over crowding and to keep plants healthy.
- Start thinking about the wildlife that will be visiting your garden by putting up bee hotels and bird boxes.
- Regularly clean your ponds, removing any leaves or debris.
- Warm the soil by using cloches to get a head start with sowing seeds outdoors. This will improve the germination success rate. (http://www.lavenderandleeks.co.uk/shop/grow/clocheborder-hoops/)
- Force established rhubarb by placing a bucket or pot over the crowns. However, this can only be done ever other year otherwise the crowns will be weakened.
- Start chitting potatoes ready to be planted out in 6-7 weeks time. Simply place in a tray or old egg box and leave in sheltered spot with plenty of natural light.